The fact that a woman as iconic as Naomi Campbell still experiences such blatant racism speaks volumes for how ingrained it continues to be in society.
Iconic supermodel Naomi Campbell and her friend were turned away from a hotel because they are black, according to an interview published this week.
Speaking to French title Paris Match, she revealed: “I was recently in a town in the south of France, while the Cannes Film Festival was going on, where I was invited to take part in an event in a hotel that will remain nameless.
“They did not want to let us come in, my friend and me, because of the colour of our skin. This guy at the door made out that the place was full. But he was letting other people in.”
She described the ordeal as being “revolting” and said that it has inspired her to “continue to express myself and make myself heard”.
Campbell shared this outrageous, blatant experience of racism as she continued to discuss diversity in the fashion industry. Asked if she thinks progress is being made, she replied: “The word ‘diversity’ is everywhere today but it did not exist when I started. I’ve always wanted people to be treated equally.”
But Campbell said she remains “optimistic on the issue” and cited model Bethann Hardison as a “pioneer”.
Campbell also had words to share with a new generation of models, adding: “I tell them never to let anyone underestimate their value. You have to be strong and brave in this job and to surround yourself with your family and a good agent.”
No one should endure something like this, and the fact that racism is still being experienced by one of the most famous faces in the world speaks volumes. If it is happening to Campbell, people of colour from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds are facing much worse cases.
By amplifying her personal story, Campbell has hopefully brought more global focus onto an issue that we must continue to strongly fight.